Review: All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finally finished it!!! Took forever, too.

I did not enjoy this story as a fictional tale. I did enjoy it as a re-enactment of events with the names changed to protect identities. It read more like a journal of veterinary events. Which I’m fine with, but I was sold on the idea of a story about a vet meeting the love of his life. (And she didn’t come in until page 205(?) or 52% of the book. Even then, it was a hit or miss as to whether the narrator would talk about her.)

Don’t get me wrong, there were some fantastic anecdotes in here. I loved the parts with Herriot’s client, the Pekinese Tricki and Mrs. Pomfrey. The woman made the dog talk, send notes, throw parties. It was fun to read that from a vet’s perpective. I enjoyed the tension in the vet house between Siegfried–the vet who hired Herriot on as an assistant–and his brother, Tristan. Though, I swear, Siegfried was a royal @$$ to him for no good reason. There were shining, gleaming pieces to the rural country life in England.

But there was also the “ewwww” factor in a lot of the story. Being that the author (nee James Wight) was a real life vet, some of the ailments and processes were described in great detail. GREAT DETAIL! Bleh. Something my overly-sensitive, empathetic soul can’t do well. I found myself cringing and making the yuck face often as I read.

It was that balance of “ick” with the funny anecdotes that I managed to land on a three. I think going into this, it’s all about personal preference as to what you like and what you can stomach. I’d highly recommend this to any burgeoning vets out there, especially if they want to go into rural/farm work–I know a specific someone I’m going to rec this to because of that.

Just a sweet, wholesome, educational read for just the right eyes.

*A BACK TO SCHOOL READ ~ SEPTEMBER 2016*

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The master list.

Once upon a time, I was reading a book written by Stephen King and happened upon a character named “Ace Merrill”. He lived in a little place of yore called Castle Rock, Maine. Well, that name/that location sent a smile to my face and memories into my brain. I knew this guy from that story that other time. Talk about being excited when I remembered little things that I loved about the town or couldn’t stand about Ace…It was like being in on a secret. I had to tell people, “Remember that guy from that place? Well, they’re back. No seriously. You have to read it.”

I blame Stephen King for this thing I have about linking my stories through characters, places, or just little hints. Even if no one else gets it, I know it’s there and am proud.

Lately, though, it feels like nothing is connecting. Not a story, a line, a name, or a title. I have a Tinkerbell journal full of notes for another Rom-Com in NYC I think I want to write for NaNoWriMo.

And if I do start writing on this, I will of course crossover locations or mention a person in passing–The Stephen King Effect. (The New York City thing for RomComs came from movies like The Secret of My Succe$s and What’s Your Number? {okay, so that’s Boston, but big city love story nonetheless} and even Something Borrowed.)

I like the idea of Sean and Gemma almost meeting at the same place that Kurt bought an apology latte…I like that Violet works with Sean while Charlie’s boss is Kurt. I like that this one hotspot is used for breakups and make-ups alike. What I don’t like is fishing through over 1000 pages of combined manuscripts to find that name or that place. That’s where the need for a master list of these tales comes into play.

I could just type a list on the computer. I have a few of those in OneNote and Word docs. But I like a solid journal with pages to flip through. I have images of places in my mind that I drew/draw that I like to reference in addition to photos. I like to keep the descriptions the same from story to story to make it more familiar…a home…like Castle Rock before it met its end.

There are three sections: The Stories which has either a book cover/promotional poster idea with a summary, characters, & locations. (The exact reason label makers were made.)

If Only in Our Dreams

Dreams can hold the best life has to offer. Who says they can’t come true?

Gemma has the worst luck with men. After this last date with the loser of her life, she’s ready to give up men. Her friends beg her for one more weekend–because they can choose a better guy for her–of blind dates. She agrees to one last weekend, though she’s regretting it already. Her friends will never find a guy like the one from her dreams. He’s hot and loving and the sex… Impossible.

Sean has the worst luck with women. After this last date with quite the drama queen, he’s ready to give up women. His friends beg him for one more weekend before doing anything drastic. After all, his friends can pick a woman better than the one from his dreams, right? Maybe not.

Life Imitating Art/Life Imitating Art

Every story has two sides, and Jana’s and Kurt’s are no exception. This duet of novels covers the same events, but are two entirely different tales. What he says is definitely not what she says about their lives from the moment they met.

Life Imitating Art: Jana Hampstead–pen name: JR Toscani–is a best selling romance authors of our time. After meeting her new editor Kurt, she realizes their story mimics the first story she’s ever written–Texas Violets, a fanfiction-turned-bestseller. Much like her characters, there’s ups and downs…and more downs…and he’s her editor, so that’s probably frowned upon around the editing firm. Oh definitely it is. Can Jana and Kurt put aside their differences and finish her new novel before their escapades can become office gossip?

Life Imitating Art: Kurt Werner–aspiring novelist and editor at top firm Eckhart & Bernstien–has been suffering a writer’s block the size of Jupiter. Every word he types ends with a delete. The story isn’t there. Then he meets his new client, JR Toscani–real name, Jana Hampstead. She envokes a rage…a passion within him. Next thing he knows, his job is on the line, but the words are flowing like a river flooding its banks. Can Kurt find a way to balance an editing job, Jana, and a new story that just won’t stop before it all comes crashing to a halt?

Wings

Take my hand. I’ll take yours. Together we’ll do this. Until we find love.

Told through two different points of view.

Charlie Everett plays wingman for his best friend, hoping to pay off an old debt. Violet Granger is trying to show “Daddy” that she can make it on her own. One night of wing services, they meet and their world couldn’t be sweeter. But, like always, real life and exes can break some wings. Can Charlie and Violet spread their wings so love can soar?

There are a few more stories not mentioned here. And I’m trying to decide where to put these stories–here, Wattpad, or e-pub them. Plus, this has been great for my story blocked mind. My hands are busy drawing, coloring, painting. My mind thinks as I do this…to the point of generating a new idea for a story that hasn’t been told in YA or adult books that I’ve been able to find. I’ve got a few opening lines to the story I’ve been wanting to type on. And have expanded my old notes on this NYC Rom-Com series, though I have yet to come up with a title.

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all images are my own.
this post is filed under random blathering and writer’s block.

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Out of the blue.

I know I haven’t been updating here as much as I should…as much as I had planned to this year when I set that resolution in January. But what would I talk about? My fangirl follies? My massive writer’s block? Stories of the past that I love more than anything that are returning to my mind?

Meh. Why would I torture you all like that?

And then,

Out of the blue, this happens:

I get this gut feeling to check my email. I’ve been avoiding it lately as the unread number can’t ever seem to go below 140. Junk email mostly. Stuff I signed up to get emails about, but aren’t really relevant to any other time of year outside of Comic Con or the holidays. So I open the email app on my phone and I come across something I haven’t seen in my phone’s massive combined inboxes in quite a long time.

The email appeared…

…and I did this:

*cleans off lenses on glasses*

*rereads the email*

*reads the email one more time*

*happy happy joy joy*

All over a simple email.

The last time I sent out any query letters was last…had to be January/February/March (?). At this point in the year, so many months later, I thought they were all said and done.

I was wrong!

An agent has requested pages of Love, Darrows… my YA LGBT story about Cupid and his boyfriend, part i of the duet. (Duology, but I really love calling Carter and Darrows a duet. I LOVE THEM TOGETHER!) A modern day twist on Cupid’s story from Roman/Greek mythology.

It’s so unexpected and random. It brightened my day a thousandfold, especially since the first half was insanely frazzling. While I know this game so well by now, and I understand that a request for pages doesn’t mean auto-representation or auto-pub, I’m happy…honoredthrilled that someone else wants to share in a story that is so close to my heart. I’m excited for Quent and Lex to be out there again!!!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

all gifs found on giphy.com

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Review: The Alchemist

The Alchemist
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

NOTE: I have two different editions of this book (because this one states it’s for the kindle) but the editions read exactly the same. The only differences are what’s contained within the bonus sections.

I can’t believe I finally read this. For me, four stars even works perfectly.

This is the story of Santiago–who is referred to as The Boy throughout the story–and his journey in life. He is in search of his Life’s Purpose. What is it that he wants to do and where is it he wants to go. And whether or not he makes it to that ultimate goal.

There are touches upon religions, beliefs, wars, and love. It’s a journey of the ups and downs of life and how at one moment life might be at it’s worst, but if you give up, you might miss out on the best. There’s also talks of signs and foreshadowing in dreams. Talk about Life’s Purposes and what the journey could look like if you pursue them. About omens and following your heart. Yes, it was more religious than I thought it would be since this book is on quite a few high school reading lists. But, it was who the people were in this time of the story–early on in the AD spectrum of years when shepherds worked by foot and crook and most of the travel was done by foot, boats, camel and horse.

I really enjoyed this story. It was something that speaks to me on a different level than just the basic tale within the words. Definitely food for thought.

*A BACK TO SCHOOOL READ ~ SEPTEMBER 2016* I’m so thankful I don’t have to write any reports or papers on these books.

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Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished this a week ago, and I’m still sitting in awe and thinking about this story.

The tale of two Will Graysons.

One is straight, in sort like with Jane, and has Tiny Cooper–though he’s not so tiny–as a best friend. High school is just this random series of events with maybe friends. It’s boring. He’s uninterested. Let’s face it. Will Grayson is just trying to make it.

One is gay, in love with a guy online, and hating his very existence in the world. He’s dealing with depression in more than one way. Will Grayson is trying to make it. But let’s say he’s suffering in pure hell.

Then one fateful night in Chicago, Will Grayson meets Will Grayson in a porn shop. And the story just goes from there.

It’s a pure yin and yang with the Wills. When one is up, the other is down. One in, one out. For all of their opposites, the pair are more alike than anything. The story was great to read, but so tough in some parts. Tears, laughter, the inability to put the book down–check, check, and check. It’s all there emotionally for me.

And one of the best parts of the story was the story within: Tiny Cooper’s musical–Hold Me Closer. (Which is now a related book by Levithan!) It wove through both Will Grayson’s lives and really shined. Only because of Tiny…That’s one character I would LOVE to meet in real life. Just to experience the over-the-top, larger-than-life, everything-is-sunny sort of person Tiny is. (Which is in severe contrast to both Wills)

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book to anyone high school and beyond. It’s definitely one of the best Levithan reads I’ve finished so far. (And I swear I’m not saying all of this because David Levithan is one of my favorite authors.)

*A BACK TO SCHOOL READ ~ SEPTEMBER 2016* Glad I finally read this one!!!

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